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Authors: Aryee, P. A.
Helegbe, G. K.
Baah, J.
Sarfo-Asante, R. A.
Quist-Therson, R.
Keywords: Obesity
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: UDS Publishers Limited
Abstract: Prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing in various populations, and is becoming a huge problem among occupational/professional groups that are perceived as preponderantly sedentary. An attendant acquisition or imposition of a lowered physical activity level and other lifestyle with such occupations may contribute to the development of obesity and overweight. The objectives of the study were to determine the prevalence of obesity and overweight among nurses using Body Mass Indexes (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratios (WHR), to assess dietary habits, ascertain daily life styles in terms of physical activity and nutrition and to determine the associations between age, marital status, dietary habit, physical activity and BMI/WHR. The study was conducted in the four main hospitals within the Tamale metropolis of the Northern region of Ghana. A cross sectional analytical design was used for the study. Two hundred and twenty (220) nurses were selected based on a probability proportionate to size (PPS). A structured questionnaire was used as the instrument for data collection and both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed statistically using SPSS. The ages of respondents ranged from 20 to 60 years. The 20-30 years age group had the highest number of respondents (67.3%) with the age group of 41-50 having the lowest number (5.0%). In terms of gender, females dominated with 146 respondents representing 66.4% and males were 74 representing 33.6%. One hundred and nineteen (54.0%) of the respondents were married whilst 92 (41.8%) were never married, 6 (2.7%) were widowed and 3 (1.4%) were divorced in that order. The prevalence of overweight and obesity among the nurses were 26.4% and 16.9% respectively. Physical inactivity and dietary habit especially skipping of meals was found to be contributing factors to overweight and obesity among the nurses. Age, gender and marital status had an influence on the level of obesity and overweight among the nurses as the older nurses were more likely to be obese than the younger ones, female nurses were significantly more likely to be obese than the males, whilst those married had a higher tendency to be overweight and obese than the never married, divorced and widowed respectively. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among nurses in the Tamale metropolis is high and of public health significance. Lifestyle and eating habits associated with the nature of the occupation, especially skipping of meals and a predominance of physical inactivity may be significant contributors to the high prevalence of obesity and overweight among the nurses.
Appears in Collections:School of Medicine and Health Sciences

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